On Tuesday we released audio of Fox News Washington managing editor Bill Sammon admitting that he had linked Obama to socialism on-air during the 2008 campaign while "privately" believing at the time that the allegation was "far-fetched." The revelation was covered by numerous media outlets and drew criticism from veteran newsroom leaders as well as Jon Stewart of The Daily Show. Sammon himself was interviewed about the story by NPR and Howard Kurtz. And yet, Fox News Watch, the one show on Fox News dedicated solely to discussing stories about the media, ignored the Sammon scandal entirely.
Instead of covering this story, which is centrally concerned with objectivity, fairness, and bias, Fox News Watch spent time today pondering what a Facebook employment offer to Robert Gibbs might mean, and vaguely accusing Katie Couric, Brian Williams and Diane Sawyer of "media bias."
Previously, Fox News Watch ignored news of Sammon's emails directing Fox's journalists to skew climate change coverage, kept silent about Fox host Andrew Napolitano's remarks that he believed the government lied about the attacks on 9-11, and declined to disclose its parent company's $1 million donation to the Republican Governor's Association. When Fox executives ordered Sean Hannity to cancel his planned appearance at a Tea Party fundraising event, Fox News Watch said nothing.
In April 2010, Joe Strupp reported that Eric Burns, who hosted Fox News Watch from 1998 to 2008 said that in his final year hosting the program, "The show was getting to be more and more of a struggle to do fairly." Given Fox News' frequent ethical lapses, it's clear that Fox News Watch cannot be said to value fairness when it refuses to examine scandals involving its own network.